King County STEM Partners
King County STEM Partners
In King County, Washington STEM brings educators, business leaders, STEM professionals, philanthropists, and community leaders together to support STEM learning from an early age and to open career pathways. Our work in this region is defined by a key group of partners and work areas that focus on Career Pathways and Early Learning.
STEM by the Numbers
Washington STEM’s annual STEM by the Numbers reports let us know if the system is supporting more students, especially students of color, students living in poverty and/or rural backgrounds, and young women, to be on track to attain high-demand credentials.
PROGRAMS + IMPACT
STATE OF THE CHILDREN REPORTS & ADVOCACY
In partnership with the Washington Communities for Children and the Department of Commerce, we are producing regional State of the Children reports that define the economic, workforce, and supply and demand issues related to early care and education at a regional level. For example, in King County we know an estimated 71% of children under age 6 lack access to quality, licensed childcare, and that an average family of four pay up to 33% of their income when they have 2 children in childcare. Our reports, through data and compelling real-life examples, are putting a spotlight on early care and education as a critical but under resourced part of our infrastructure. We are working with business, education, and policy leaders to ensure all families have access to affordable and high quality early care and learning.
EXPANDING ACCESS: CAREER CONNECT TECH ACADEMY
In 2020, with support from Career Connect Washington, Washington STEM partnered with the Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) to develop three Career Connect Tech Academy models adapted from a national Pathways In Technology Early College High School (PTECH) program. The King County program is at the combined Lake Washington Institute of Technology + High School campus. The Lake Washington Career Connect Tech Academy, slated to begin in Sept 2021, will focus on degrees in Computer Software Design and Computer Security and Network Technology. Students graduating from the academy will earn a degree and have work experience that prepares them for family wage jobs. Washington STEM provided crucial technical support to CHA and helped develop the programs in two additional regions: Pasco and Everett. Additionally, we developed a Career Connect Tech Playbook that details how to develop and implement a Career Connect Tech academy so these pilot programs can be expanded to regions across the state.
EARLY LEARNING: STORY TIME STEM
The Story Time STEM project works with library system leaders and children’s librarians to improve and increase early math learning opportunities for children and families through storytelling. We partnered with the King County Library System and quickly pivoted to a virtual story time format to develop powerful STEM learning opportunities with families and communities online. Through these events, the King County Libraries reached 3,296 participants with joyful and engaging early mathematics learning.
CONVENING EDUCATORS: WASHINGTON STEM SUMMIT
Our 2020 Washington STEM Summit went virtual. Over 300 attendees participated in the two-day event, exploring the ways in which business, education, and the nonprofit sector can work together to ensure all Washington students have the STEM skills needed to participate in our innovation-driven economy and access family-sustaining wage careers. This year we focused on the pivot to virtual learning, adapting in a crisis, and the impact to our childcare system and its earliest learners.
SUPPORTS FOR KING COUNTY SCIENCE EDUCATION LEADERS
LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) is a state science education program led by Washington STEM along with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Educational Service Districts, and the Institute for Systems Biology. In Spring 2020, the North Sound and South Sound LASER Alliances, with support from Puget Sound Educational Service District and Washington STEM, hosted a workshop series for 13 school districts to learn about evaluating, selecting, and using high quality instructional materials aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. Originally planned to be an in-person workshop over two days in March, the Alliance leaders quickly adapted to accommodate online access and district leaders’ complex workloads.